Silicon metal and its compounds have fascinated scientists and technologists on account of their extraordinary properties and enthused them to search for still newer compounds of silicon. While this process of uncovering compounds has been an uphill task for scientists, technologists and engineers have had to face the even more daunting task of translating laboratory results to actual plant design for commercial production. The continuing quest for finding newer techniques for production of high purity silicon and its compounds have produced bouteous results over the years. It now seems that while the chances of discovering more techno-economically feasible routes to production of ultra-pure silicon have reached a saturation point, the search for newer silicon compounds is still opening up vistas for both newer and innovative synthesizing techniques and production of an ever-increasing number of exotic compounds like liquid crystals to fullerene-silicon compounds. An attempt is made in this volume to bring the highly scattered information in the field together. While older, well-established aresults have been reviewed in short, more details have been provided for the references that appeared during the latter part of the 1990s. The book is intended as a source of reference for research workers in the area and as a supplement for students of materials science, chemistry and chemical engineering.
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